Railwayananet Collectors Guides

 
       Railway Clocks
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Updated June 2017

Railway Operational Items - Clocks & Watches

The Railways owned a very large selection of Clocks as knowing the correct time was always of vital importance to the setting of timetables and the efficient running of the Railways. Large clocks such as the one above would be in the Booking Office or Waiting Rooms for passenger information and smaller ones would be in various other station departments and most importantly in the Signal Boxes. Railway employees whose duties related to the correct running of trains would be issued with pocket watches and these were predominantly carried by train Guards.

As with most Railway items most Clocks and watches are clearly marked with the Companies name and also were usually numbered as then records were kept so that they could be returned to the correct location when sent in to the owning Companies Clock department for overhaul.

Clocks of all types shapes and sizes were used by the Railways and are readily available to buy through Auctions and other sellers. There are a number of fakers out there who take an ordinary non railway clock and by some repainting of the dial and internal stamping produce a Railway item. As the price for Railway clocks is twice or more than that of the general item this can be a prosperous pastime. Our advice would be to only buy from Auction if you are confident in inspecting a clock and understand the signs to look for on a restored item. For the beginner we would suggest that you talk to Ian Lyman and David Parr who have sales stands at the major auctions and from our experience can be relied on to only sell only completely "honest" Clocks with guarantees. This may cost you more than buying at auction but at least you can be confident that you have an ex Railway item and as they have access to clock records they will give you information on the various places that the clock was located.

Clock prices tend to be higher the smaller the dial with other considerations being - how early it was made - how attractive to look at - whether fusee or spring driven and finally if restored or not.

Watches can be generally obtained quite cheaply as there is no longer any demand for them as timepieces.  

 

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